Connecting the dots on Generation Z and their (Gen X) parents

Who is Generation Z? The New York Times describes this segment of the population as 60 million Americans, aged 5 to 19 years old, outnumbering Millennials by a million. Last year’s freshman class was the first of this generation to join the college experience and 30 percent will be employed in the next four years, according to The Huffington Post.

Today, households with Gen Z in the mix are valuable to your business because of your opportunities to serve older members of this vibrant segment – and their Generation X parents. And, as more of the Gen Z population reaches young adulthood, the wealth of their parents will be growing with them: Deloitte University Press forecasts Gen X to have a net worth of $37 trillion by 2030, passing boomers as America’s wealthiest generation not long afterwards.

With this in mind, it’s not hard to connect the dots on potential membership opportunities as Gen Z continues growing up. But, there’s also an opportunity to add immediate value for these households because research shows Gen Z is out of touch with the realities of paying for college:

A study from Northeastern University revealed that 75 percent of students aged 16 to 19 have no college savings plan, 29 percent say they haven’t talked with their parents about saving for college and one-quarter think no amount of student loan debt will be manageable after college.

At CUNA Mutual Group, we’re joining The National Credit Union Foundation to address this need for financial literacy thanks to scores of credit unions across the country who “paid it forward” in social media posts last year.

In November, we pledged to give as much as $10,000 to the Foundation by way of $5 matches for each holiday giving photo or video tagged with #CUGiveBack by the end of 2015. By New Year’s Eve last year, credit unions and social media enthusiasts had posted hundreds of images and videos via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This inspired us so much so that we opted to provide our maximum pledge of $10,000 to the Foundation.

The gift means you’ll see a national tour of 20 experiential learning sessions for teens this year. The Foundation calls the series of events Reality Fairs. They’ll provide financial literacy and money management skills for 2,000 to 5,000 students and will be hosted in credit unions and league facilities across the country.

We want to share a big thank you to all the credit unions and social media friends and followers who shared photos and videos with us through #CUGiveBack. The tour you’ve supported will help many young people prepare stronger financial futures and will give their Generation X parents a helping hand in preparing their children to manage finances as they get ready for college and life afterwards.

We’ll provide more information on the tour dates and locations soon. It may provide your credit union with valuable opportunities to connect with Gen Z and Gen X family households in your local community.

For more information on the fairs, click here. Or, if you’re interested in connecting with the tour this year, contact Christopher Morris, communications director, National Credit Union Foundation, at or (608) 231-4374.

Amanda Ray

Amanda Ray

Amanda L. Ray is the Social Media Manager for CUNA Mutual Group. She leads the strategy, development and execution of the company’s social channels and programming. With more than ... Web: Details